If you’re in no hurry to experience hot flashes, listen up! Exposure to some household products, including some beauty products and cosmetics, could be connected to early menopause, new research suggests.
While menopause, the process which marks the end of a woman’s menstruation and fertility, usually occurs in your 40’s or 50’s, exposure to some common household products could push menopause up by as much as four years, according to a report by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The researchers studied 31,575 women who were enrolled in government-conducted National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The women were surveyed every two years on their health and nutrition, including asking if they had started menopause. During the timeframe of the study, the participants also provided blood and urine samples that were tested to detect the presence of certain chemicals, including phthalates that are commonly found in fragrance, plastics, cosmetics and hair spray.
It was found that the women who had the highest levels of these chemicals present had menopause anywhere from 1.9 years to 3.8 years earlier than those with lower levels.
Menopause is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period and marks the end of menstrual cycles and fertility. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States.
In the months or years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you might experience signs and symptoms such as irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, mood changes, weight gain and slowed metabolism.